This is my first time posting here on the forum, I have perused it several times and found some great information, hopefully someone can give some advice on my first question here.
I just bought a beautiful 1920's home that came with all copper gutters. It is a fairly large house (about 4500 sq ft) that I couldn't pass up, both because I fell in love with the home and the location and also because it was sort of a distressed sale, the previous owner was having financial problems and needed to sell quickly, so I think I got a great deal as well. Part of the reason why it was at a great price was that the house needed some maintenance in different areas that had been put off over the last 5 years or so due to the owner's financial issues. (nothing BAD, overall it is still a very solid house, just things here and there that need work)
The question I have is for the copper gutters. The horizontal gutters are bent out of shape in several spots, quite out of shape in a few, due to ice dams during the winters. (I'm in the upper midwest) Also, one downspout is half gone, another is missing completely. I have had two estimates so far, both from very reputable companies. I don't know a whole lot about copper gutters and was hoping that there would be a way to somehow bend the horizontal pieces back into shape, but both companies totally dismissed that right away, saying that copper gutters are very tough to straighten out once they are twisted out of shape. They both came back with the same answer, that the whole gutter system needed to be replaced. They said that replacing all of the gutters was really the only option, because if they were to "patch in" for the bent pieces, I'd end up with bright orange-ish copper gutters in the new sections and the well-weathered green copper gutters in the original sections, which I can understand, I don't want the place looking like a circus tent when they are done!
The first company said that they would be welding the gutters and their estimate came out to about $17,000. The second company said that they would be riveting the gutters and their estimate came out to $7000, quite a difference! The guy from the second company said that welding the gutters is overkill and that he would only recommend it for a very high end home project. So, my obvious question is, is it really worth the extra $10,000 for welded gutters over riveted gutters? (If it makes any difference, the fair market value of the house once I'm done with the maintenance work is between $600,000 and $700,000) I had figured that I would end up spending somewhere between $75,000 to $100,000 on the work that needed to be done to the house and while spending the extra $10,000 wouldn't blow my budget, I'd certainly rather spend it somewhere else (or keep it for a rainy day!) than spend it on the gutters.